Tokyo’s Extreme Heat Could Soon Endanger Olympic Athletes

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Photo: PHILIP FONG / Contributor (Getty Images)

Add “extreme heat” to the rising listing of plagues going through this 12 months’s Summer Olympics, an occasion I’m beginning to suspect I’d very a lot not take pleasure in collaborating in, even when they requested properly.

According to the Washington Post, along with being derailed by a worldwide pandemic that compelled a full 12 months’s postponement in addition to a ban on all spectators, this 12 months’s Summer Games are additionally set to be roiled by devastating July temperatures in Tokyo which have some officers apprehensive for the security of the competing athletes.

“The rainy season is over in Tokyo, and the hot summer has come!” Tokyo 2020 organizers declared throughout a information convention on Sunday amid temperatures within the low 90s and air that the Post describes as “so thick it felt as if you had to chew it before you could breathe it.”

Although the summer season warmth at all times poses a threat to athletes, who’re competing at a degree of exertion that would put even probably the most physiological sound human in peril of warmth stroke or sickness, the Tokyo Games are poised to change into the most well liked in additional than 35 years of recorded temperatures, a circumstance that we may be attributed no less than partly to the creep of local weather change and world warming.

In a merciless accident, the climate in Tokyo final 12 months was unseasonably cool, owing largely to the truth that the area’s wet season stretched longer than regular. Those circumstances nonetheless would have posed challenges to athletes — as will this 12 months’s typhoons, that are nonetheless projected to happen proper on schedule — however the cooler temperatures would have helped to offset a few of the extra fast bodily issues of overexertion and warmth stroke.

In their efforts to arrange for the acute temperatures, organizers have taken steps to accommodate athletes which may undergo within the warmth, together with putting in shade tents, transportable air conditioners, ice baths, coolers full of bottled water, and mist followers in designated competitors arenas. Some occasions have additionally been relocated to the northern metropolis of Sapporo, situated about 500 miles north of Tokyo the place the temperatures are barely cooler.

If you ask me although — and once more, no one did — I say we simply collectively take a literal rain verify this 12 months and get our groove again in 2024, when Sha’Carri Richardson can run the 100-meter race in Paris in peace.

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